This photo taken on April 21, 2019 shows the Russian missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov arriving in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province.
Str | AFP | Getty Images
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that one of its frigates carrying hypersonic missiles had conducted “hypersonic missile drills” in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate tested the strike capabilities of Russia’s highly publicized Zircon hypersonic missile in the western Atlantic Ocean, according to a statement released by the ministry, using “computer simulation” exercises.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the development of the hypersonic Zircon (or Tsirkon) missiles in 2019 when he said the missiles had a maximum speed of mach 9 (or nine times the speed of sound) and had a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). ). The missiles, Putin said, “can hit sea or land targets.”
“In accordance with the training situation, the frigate trained to organize [a] Strike of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile against a maritime target at a distance of more than 900 kilometers,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in its statement on the exercise.
He didn’t say he launched a missile.
The ministry noted that the Admiral Gorshkov frigate “is a modern multipurpose ship, equipped with guided missiles and designed to operate in remote sea and ocean areas.”
“Equipped with Tsirkon [missiles]the vessel is capable of delivering precise and powerful strikes to any offshore and onshore target,” he said.
Russia’s testing of its strike capabilities in the Atlantic Ocean is likely to be seen as a provocative step by the United States and its NATO allies.
Relations between Moscow and the West are at a low point after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Russia accuses the West, which has provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in arms and military aid, of waging a proxy war against it.